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20+ years of HPPD?


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Hello everyone,

I first took LSD at the age of 14 and I'm pretty sure I have had this ever since. Although my first trip was hilarious at first then terrifying beyond belief later I used it probably a further 10 to 15 times with the last when I was 18. I have used recreational drugs like ecstasy and speed on numerous occasions during my teens and cocaine and weed during my twenties but not really to excess. I have also used mushrooms on only two occasions in Amsterdam where I lived for a couple of years.

Believe it or not I've only just found the name HPPD as of yesterday and I'm now 39 years old. I have tried to find help online down the years with no joy so kind of learned to live with it but it has been tough on and off for so long. My symptoms have been mostly constant floaters when I look at the sky. Distortion of people's faces especially at night and when I'm in busy places. trails when things pass me quickly (I often test this by waving my hand in front of me, happens every time, still), moving objects, flashes, halos and static in a dark room.

I used to go into a total trippy like panic about it and it has led to very poor concentration, constantly questioning everything and so many bizarre thoughts to mention. I've had counselling on a couple of occasions which has helped to deal with the effects through CBT but I didn't talk a lot about my visual symptoms just my anxieties. I'm on citalopram at the minute but while I think it's helped my physical anxiety my mind is still in overdrive.

I think my reason for seeking help again is for a few reasons:1) I have a daughter now and don't want to totally lose the plot for my families sake. 2) I'm sick to death of this shit and sometimes feel like I could just pull down a big zip and step out of this foggy world. 3) I'm training to be a counsellor myself and the personal development has led me to try to sort my shit out.

I've had some really horrible times over the years with some hellish family stuff almost tipping me over the edge but I always tried to live a life I perceive to be normal and even question that I'm not being true to myself. I question everything and would describe myself as CONFUSED!

I'm more than likely going through a bad patch because I'm getting less sleep than normal and using more coffee due to the little one but would appreciate any comments as to whether I may have HPPD.

I hope the title hasn't panicked anyone too much? I am living a pretty much decent life and will continue to do so because I don't like the sound of the other option too much!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This may sound silly but I don't ever recommend taking own life because I believe in karma (not in traditional Eastern Mystic way). In other words, you will reincarnate into another shitty life if won't learn lessons in current one. Your objective is to fight as much as you can and be there for your loved ones. Maybe you will be rewarded for your suffering in next life. I've developed shitty tinnitus and forgot the last time I got restful sleep, had thoughts about suicide but fight on and don't ever think of leaving my kids and family without me. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi mate. Your experience sounds very similar to mine. Took LSD 4 times aged 14, and had HPPD more than 20 years. I'm now 35.

I have the same symptoms, apart from the morphing faces. I've had some dark times too, but never tried medication. Just tried to live a normal life and have found comfort in the knowledge that most people do so.

I went to uni and have carved out an ok sort of career, travelled the world and have a good family (most of them!) so I just try to count the good things.

It was never hugely into drugs after LSD scared the shit out of me all those years ago. I had the occasional social joint, but have decided to completely stop that now. I've flirted with cocaine a bit in my 30s, but think that may have made things worse - so giving that one up now too. I e joy beers at weekends to relax.

The main things that help me are staying positive and lots of exercise. I feel fantastic after a good two-hour workout, and it's the only time I think I ever truly forget about HPPD.

Hope you continue to keep a handle on things. I guess there are people out there with much bigger problems.

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  • 7 months later...

Hello mate.  I would say you've definitely got HPPD.  Like you I had it a long time before putting a name on it.  I've had it for 35 years.  There are good times and bad times.  It is a curse but I've survived and it's a strange consolation that I see so many 'normal' people on SSRIs and drinking themselves to death.  PM me if you'd like to compare war stories.

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for the replies.

Not been on for a while but great/sad to hear other people paying the price like myself.

I contacted a Doctor M. Arif at Leicester NHS from something I read on here (i think) and they emailed to see if i wanted assessing for HPPD so I called them and they said they would be in touch. That was back in October and I still haven't heard anything. Has anyone else heard about this doctor doing research into HPPD?

I'm on 10mg of citalopram at present and doing them every other day. Studying my level 4 in counselling which is great for personal development but the focussing on the client can be challenging when I become aware of my HPPD. I'm great at being the client but haven't shared my HPPD as yet with my class mates who we have to do skills practice with. I might do this tonight.


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1Hi there, I have had HPPD for over 20 years too but unlike you I found this board some time ago, but I have not been on it for a while. I have similar symptoms as you, but my trails have gotten worse over the past few months and I seem to be more tired than usual. Although that could be an age thing.

I do not live far from Leicester so please let me know how you get on with this doctor!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi there!


Yes I do believe we are in it for life. But that doesn't mean our life is over!


How did you find it only recently discovering the term "HPPD" to label your symptoms with. Did it help manage your symptoms or did it make them worse?


That's really great you want to be a counselor. Something like HPPD might even be necessary to make one sensitive to others' sufferings.


Lots of love,



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  • 8 months later...

Hi guys,

Back here again. It seems the old dark nights bring the symptoms back in full force! Hence why all my posts come in the winter I suppose.

Hi Dukka, I'm not sure how I feel about the label of HPPD to be honest, symptoms are still a pain in the arse. 

I spoke to the Dr's practice a while ago and they said I needed to get referred to them and needed to ask my GP but never have, as yet anyway but may do soon.


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